Dr Helen Kemp

Community Fellow
Department of History
Dr Helen Kemp
  • Email

  • Location

    Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Please email me to arrange an appointment.



Helen Kemp studies reading and writing in the early modern world, focusing on seventeenth-century England. She is interested in networks of people and of texts: connections and obligations of family and profession, and how manuscripts and books circulated between these networks, resulting in new forms of communication, collecting, and material culture. Helen's research brings new insight into the social interactions and nuances of power between those who communicated through the media of manuscript and print. She is currently working on a monograph about seventeenth-century notebooks. Helen is also the curator of rare books at Thomas Plume’s Library (est. 1704), Maldon, and Special Collections Champion at the Albert Sloman Library.


  • PhD History University of Essex, (2017)

  • MA Renaissance Studies Birkbeck, University of London, (2011)

  • BA (Hons) Humanities Open University, (2009)


University of Essex

  • Lecturer (fixed term), History, University of Essex (1/2022 - 6/2022)

  • Community Fellow, History, University of Essex (1/2/2020 - present)

  • Fixed Term Teacher, History, University of Essex (1/10/2017 - 31/1/2020)

Other academic

  • 21st Plume Librarian, Rare books and special collections, Thomas Plume's Library (16/9/2019 - present)

  • Maddock Research Fellow, Marsh's Library (23/3/2020 - 30/3/2020)

  • Consultant on Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons Project, University of Regina (1/4/2018 - 1/4/2019)

  • Local Conference Organiser, Social History Society (28/2/2023 - 31/7/2023)


Journal articles (1)

Kemp, H., (2022). Matriarchal Piety in the seventeenth century: Lady Barbara Hyde and her network of clergy kinsmen. Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 17 (1)

Book chapters (1)

Kemp, H., (2020). "All my Manuscript-papers of my own hand": Plume's collection of handwritten texts. In: Dr Thomas Plume, 1630-1704 His life and legacies in Essex, Kent and Cambridge. Editors: Doe, RA. and Thornton, CC., . Essex Publications, University of Hertfordshire Press. 196- 224



Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Please email me to arrange an appointment.